The Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks meet at the American Airlines Center on Sunday evening in Dallas, Texas. This should make for a fairly entertaining contest between two teams bouncing back in the right direction. It took the Trail Blazers a minute to figure out how to operate without CJ McCollum in the lineup, but they’ve been playing well without him in the lineup.
That includes Nurkic, though the Blazers know all about playing without his services. It feels like the Bosnian is injured more often than he’s healthy in the past couple of years. This isn’t to say that the Blazers are a better team having McCollum and Nurkic absent, because they are going to need them back if they’re pulling off any upsets in the playoffs. That said, they have been doing a good job managing without those two.
The Trail Blazers go into Sunday evening with wins in three straight games and five of their last six games. Their most impressive win during this sequence was against the Philadelphia 76ers on February 4. Banged up and injured, the Trail Blazers beat the 76ers straight up as ten-point underdogs by a score of 121-105. To prove that it wasn’t a fluke, the Trail Blazers did it again more recently on Thursday with a 118-114 win.
Not to be overlooked either, what they did the next night was a really nice effort by Portland as well. Sure, it was only a win against the woeful Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the Trail Blazers could have easily gone out in that game with a lazy and uninspired effort after beating the 76ers the before. It didn’t fizz on them, though, as the Trail Blazers built up an early lead and didn’t allow the Cavaliers to mount a comeback.
The Blazers are coming off a 129-110 win over the Cavaliers on Saturday night. It was a back-to-back situation for Portland and they handled it extremely well. We’ll see if the Trail Blazers can stay hot against a Mavericks team that is on fire recently as well. The Mavericks go into Sunday on a four-game winning streak. They started this season really slowly, but are beginning to pick the pace up recently. The Mavs are fresh off a 143-130 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. Head below for our free Trail Blazers vs. Mavericks pick on February 14, 2021.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks NBA Betting Odds:
Trail Blazers vs. Mavericks Prediction:
Something has to give on Sunday evening, and one of these teams will have to say goodbye to their winning streak. Mavericks’ fans were waiting patiently for this team to show up and catch fire. It was like pulling teeth for the first couple of months with them. There was a lot of inconsistent play for the Mavericks prior to this recent run. However, things have been looking up for the Mavericks, and they are playing like a team that could beat anyone in the league at the moment.
Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis went off against the Pelicans for 46 and 36 points. The Pelicans have been trying to emphasize defense this season, but they had no answers for Doncic and Porzingis. When they’re playing like that, there isn’t a defense in the NBA that can stop the Mavericks.
Nobody has stepped in front of the Mavericks’ defense during their four-game winning streak. Dallas is scoring an average of 130.8 points per game through their last four outings. Overall, they are just 17th in the NBA with 112.7 points per game, but keep in mind the slow start, and the team was without Porzingis for a big chunk of the year.
The fewest amount of points they’ve scored during this four-game run was 118 against an underrated Atlanta Hawks’ defense in a 118-117 win. In their previous six attempts, the Mavericks have scored at least 116 points, so the offense now is a lot different than the offense back then in December and early January.
Despite the absence of McCollum and Nurkic, the Trail Blazers continue to work through Lillard and score plenty of points. Portland is fifth in the league with an average of 115.2 points scored per game. Like the Mavericks, they’re coming off a big scoring night against the Cavaliers in a 129-110 win.
They haven’t had problems going on the road. In fact, the offense has been slightly better, with 117 points scored per contest. The main problem without Nurkic is their ability to defend in the paint. That’s a big, athletic body that isn’t present, which is becoming more of the norm than not in Portland.
The Blazers are 25th in the NBA with 115.1 points conceded per game, just a touch worse than the Mavs, who are allowing 114.4 points a game. While the Mavericks’ offense is heating up, the opposite could be said defensively. They’ve given up 127.6 points per game, though that is a byproduct of the Mavs pushing the pace a little more. It’s unlikely they move away from that formula tonight. I could see a high-scoring game, with 243 or 244 points on the board in this one.